Elite athletes are always facing competition and pushing the human boundaries to the limit, experienced coaches can notice and correct technical mistakes during practice, but once the human perception
reaches its limit, the technology can contribute for increasing the athlete’s performance.
Based on recent studies that have shown a strong correlation between strength training and swimming velocity and the devices available for training on the water (as elastics, parachutes and fins), it
can be noticed the lack technological resources for this purpose.
In Brazil due to the lack of investments in sports the access to existing technologies for both biomechanical and high performance training analysis are very restricted, being accessible only to a few
research centers. By considering that there are technological devices capable of measuring, graphing and displaying, in real time, biomechanical parameters, but those are high cost devices, the
purpose of this study is to design and to build a low-cost equipment empowering the resistive training in the water with instantaneous velocity and tethered force measurements.
The objective is to develop a practical solution for strength training in swimming and supporting coaches and experts in biomechanics to better evaluate the athletes’ performance. Consequently, this
is an applied research and may result in improvements to traditional training processes adopted nowadays.
Based on experimental approaches and on the feedback of athletes, the main purpose is to quantify biomechanical parameters, which means translating the data obtained by using the proposed equipment to
relevant information for specialists.
A multidisciplinary team that includes trainers, biomechanical specialist and engineers were involved in this project. The equipment was designed using functional modules for braking, force
measurement, velocity measurement, attachment and user interface. A microcontroller was used to integrate all these modules.
The braking module has a controllable drag force that opposes the swimmer's movement, enabling to impose zero speed for tethered force measurement. The force measurement module works at tethered
swimming, and allows measurements of propulsive force by using one load cell with an instrumentation amplifier. The velocity measurement module, uses an enclosed incremental encoder to calculates the
The equipment is positioned outside the pool and has a non-elastic line that runs through the modules until the athlete. The system user interfaces performs real time data acquisition and control the
load for the resistive training.
Tests have been already performed with the measure velocity module showing the precision of the equipment. The next steps for the development are the integration of the force measurement and braking
module to the prototype and the calibration and practical trials.
After the conclusion of the prototype, evaluations will be done with athletes to determine the most appropriate training protocol for improving strength, speed and to evaluate the progress of a resist